|Red Sox announce signing of 12 draft picks||06.17.11 at 6:06 pm ET|
The Red Sox announced the signing of 12 draft picks on Friday. Among the group of draftees who have commenced their careers are sixth-rounder Miguel Pena, a left-handed pitcher who signed for an $85,000 bonus, and ninth-rounder Travis Shaw, a power-hitting third baseman out of Kent State (and the son of former closer Jeff Shaw) who signed for $110,000.
Matt Gedman, the son of Lowell Spinners hitting coach (and former Sox catcher) Rich Gedman was also among the group of signees, as were New Englanders Branden Shepherd, a reliever from Stonehill, and Keene State’s Corey Vogt, a Yankees fan who told GM Theo Epstein that the Sox had better take him given the sacrifice he was making by working out at Fenway.
The full list of signees, with more detail:
6th round: Miguel Pena, LHP, San Jacinto Junior College ($85,000 bonus)
This marks the third straight year in which Pena has been drafted. He was selected by the Nationals out of high school in the fifth round of the 2009 draft, and by the Padres in the 13th round out of San Jacinto (where Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte both pitched) of last year’s selection process. In his second year at San Jac, Pena went 10-3 with a 1.91 ERA, 93 strikeouts and 24 walks in 85 innings.
At 6-foot-2 and 160 pounds, he’s slight, but scouting reports suggest that he has a clean delivery that allows him to throw strikes with his fastball (described by Baseball America as an 88-91 mph pitch; though this report suggests that he tops out at 94 mph), curve, slider and changeup. He did reportedly get sent home from the Cape League last summer due to disciplinary reasons.
However, Pena decided that he wanted to move forward in his career, and made clear to the Sox that he was willing to sign quickly for $85,000 — accepting less than he’d been offered the previous two times that he was drafted — in order to begin his professional career. He was particularly enthusiastic about the prospect of doing so in the Sox system, in part based on the glowing recommendations of Sox minor leaguer Garin Cecchini, with whom Pena played during his high school career and will now play for the Lowell Spinners.
9th round: Travis Shaw, 3B, Kent State ($110,000 bonus)
Shaw, the son of former big league closer Jeff Shaw, was drafted by the Sox in the 32nd round of the 2008 draft. As a junior at Kent State in 2011, he hit .307 with a .401 OBP, .553 slugging mark, 14 homers and 51 RBI in 62 games; in his three years with the Golden Flash, he’s slammed 36 homers and shown an intriguing mix of power and patience.
At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, his power is considered significant. He’ll begin his pro career with the Spinners.
11th round: Kevin Brahney, LHP, Chico State
Brahney, a left-hander, was better than his 2-5 record for Chico State indicated, as he had a 3.58 ERA, 74 strikeouts (against 26 walks) and a .236 opponents’ batting average in 65 1/3 innings for Chico State. The senior is listed at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, and features a left-handers requisite quirks. He was born on 8/8/88, can’t stand spiders and refuses to step on the foul line or to be given the ball on the way to the mound, according to a Chico State bio.
He reportedly features a low-90s fastball that can top out at 94 mph, along with a curveball that has good late break. He is also slated to open the year with the Spinners.
14th round: Mike McCarthy, RHP, Cal State-Bakersfield
Caught the attention of scouts when he outpitched No. 1 overall pick Gerrit Cole and UCLA in mid-May. McCarthy was already on the Sox’ radar, however, as a 6-foot-3 right-hander with an average fastball and splitter. For more on his unusual path to pro ball (he is with the Spinners), click here.
18th round: Andrew Jones, RHP, Samford University
Jones was one of three Samford pitchers selected on Tuesday. Jones was Samford’s closer for during the 2011 season. He finished with 15 saves, which was a school record. He also had a 1.49 ERA and held opponents to a .184 batting average. He struck out 35 batters, and walked only six in 36 1/3 innings.
In his profile on the Samford website he lists his favorite athlete as former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling.
24th round (No. 742): Drew Turocy, CF, Akron
Turocy led Akron in almost every offensive category this past season including home runs (7), batting average (.347), slugging percentage (.563) and runs (35). In high school he won a Division 2 Ohio state championship in 2007, and had a 9-1 record on the mound with an ERA of 0.66; he underwent Tommy John surgery in college, and while he had been a two-way player early in his college career, he spent this past year (in which he was a fourth-year junior) working exclusively as an outfielder.
Turocy was told that he would play the outfield with the Sox. He told the Youngstown Vindicator (yes, there is a paper by that name) that he had stopped following the draft after Round 20; he was in his bedroom when he learned that he was drafted when he heard his brother screaming downstairs.
28th round (No. 862): Brenden Shepherd, RHP, Stonehill College (Mass.)
In his first full-year as a pitcher, Shepherd emerged as Stonehill’s closer, striking out 34 and walking 15 in 22 1/3 innings while showing a low-90s fastball. He saved 10 games and had a 3.63 ERA. Naturally, the local product — the first player from Massachusetts drafted by the Sox this year — was thrilled to be drafted by his hometown team, as he told the Patriot Ledger.
33rd round: David Chester, 1B, University of Pittsburgh
At 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds, he likely wins the prize for the biggest player drafted by the Sox (helped in part because the team’s tallest draftees, such as 6-foot-6 sandwich pick Henry Owens, are rail thin). Chester was a senior out of Pitt who mashed in Big East play. He led the conference with 16 homers while hitting .345 with a .470 OBP and .665 slugging mark.
35th round: Carlos Coste C R/R 6-2 186 Academia Bautista High School San Juan, Puerto Rico
The Red Sox have been aggressive in drafting talent from Puerto Rico in recent years, most notably with 2009 first-rounder Reymond Fuentes and 2010 fifth-rounder Henry Ramos. Coste is from the Puerto Rican Baseball Academy.
39th round: Corey Vogt, RHP, Keene State College (Conn.)
Vogt is a a two-time All-Little East Conference reliever who had four saves, a 2.82 ERA and 30 punchouts in 22 1/3 innings for Keene State. The lifelong Yankees fan had a workout at Fenway Park over the weekend, and told GM Theo Epstein, “You better draft me if I’m doing this for you.” Vogt, in a school press release, said that he would have no problem shifting allegiances now that he is with the Sox.
“They’re paying my salary now, so I won’t have a hard time with it,” he said. “It’s going to be cool playing baseball and earning a paycheck doing it.”
Vogt throws in the low-90s.
45th round: Matt Gedman, 3B, UMass
Gedman earned a First-Team All-Star selection by the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association, was named to the Atlantic 10 Baseball All-Conference First Team and was chosen as the 2011 National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America District I Player of the Year. He led the A-10 with a .402 average (76-for-189) in 45 games for the Minutemen this season and posted the second-highest hits total in school history for a single season.
49th round: Jadd Schmeltzer, RHP, Cornell University
No player drafted out of Cornell has ever reached the big leagues. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Schmeltzer — a pitcher whose stature is suitable for his school’s Big Red mascot — is hoping to buck the trend. According to this wide-ranging interview with his campus paper, Schmeltzer drove an H3 around campus in Ithaca, playing videos of his high school football highlights in it. It would also appear that he is prone to malapropisms.
Schmeltzer, who gave up playing football after his freshman year to focus on baseball, also gave up being a two-way player as a senior to focus on pitching. He went 3-4 with a 3.63 ERA, 38 strikeouts and 20 walks as a senior. Perhaps most notably, he did not permit a single homer. At least in his high school career, he worked mostly in the high-80s with his fastball with a slow curve that measured in the 60s.
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